Ok, so here’s how it went down. Jack and crew over at Crossfit Fifty were just about the greatest hosts anyone could ask for. Thank you guys and your athletes for being such a chill group to work with.
I live and breathe in a very strange and esoteric world. In fact, it’s the kind of world that old school Crossfitters are familiar with. Before Crossfit was the global powerhouse of athletic training it is, it was a small network of garage gyms, warehouse workout spaces filled with people marching to a beat everybody else called crazy. Then everybody else started catching on and began to feel that rhythm down inside their soul.
That’s just about where we are in the gs world right now. GS: Girevoy Sport, the sport of lifting kettlebells. Ten minutes of lifting anywhere from 26lbs to 140lbs with no rest, no stopping, no deviation, technical requirements and if you’re lucky one and only one hand switch. Chalky, grueling work born of the farmyards and markets of Russia. It’s our own beat. To the outside casual observer, crazy.
But it’s starting to catch on.
Here’s the thing. We set this one up specifically for our Crossfitter crowd. What is it you need to do in your WOD? Produce as much work as possible at each task and have enough left in the tank for the next, and the next and the next. It’s about spending energy. But in the world if increasingly gameified workouts that become competitive events, there’s a flipside; energy preservation and budgeting.
That’s where we come in. GS is all about rationing your energy so, as in my case, I can lift 122lbs at a constant pace for maximal total reps over a 10 minute period. One of the biggest energy killers Crossfitters run into is kb swings and snatches. So by looking at where and how you can use your body beyond just hip explosion to not simply move the bell, but to move it with an economy of energy, regularity of breath, minimizing impact and shock to the body…all the sudden it becomes thinkable to knock out those 75 or 100 rep chippers without losing time putting the bell down to catch your breath.
What happens to your overall output when the movements that used to drain you actually become refuges of rest and recovery in the middle of your circuit? How much more work can you accomplish when you spread the load out over many joints and muscles instead of one or two, recycling & channeling the energy of the last repetition into the next, and the next and the next? What happens when you save your hands by letting go of the bell with confidence that it will land where you want it?
I have to say, there were some hungry athletes doing some fantastic work out there on Monday. Snatch has to be one of the most complex movements in the kettlebell world. Looking at it, you wouldn’t think so, but when you turn a critical eye to the minutiae of each joint movement, you could write volumes. For having to take in so much information in so little time and then turn it right back around into a training evolution at the end…hardcore.
And my proudest moment…not a single stereotypical ripped callous photo to show for it. Awesomeness happened.
Our next big event is coming up Saturday, November 3rd at Blue Coast Crossfit from 2pm to 4pm. We’re going to sight in a little tighter on the sport side of things and spend a couple of hours hammering the long cycle clean and jerk. Click here for a map.